January 17th, 2011

Why The Hollywood Version Of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo May Be A Good Thing

Over the past six months there's been something nearly every cool kid on the Internet has posted at one point or another: "Why the fuck is Hollywood making their own version of The Girl With The Dragoon Tattoo, fuck you all, can't you read subtitles, I'm cool and love films with subtitles and I loved the Swedish version of the movie and I know it's going to suck you guys are all pieces of shit for being interested in a Hollywood version. Eat shit and die mainstream America and your Hollywood versions of great Euro films."

Notice, I've not been one of those people - for a variety of reasons.

For one, I trust David Fincher. He wouldn't have taken the project on unless he had some good ideas of what he could do with it.

Secondly, I think it might be a great thing for the American film industry. Let me tell you why.

We need a viable rating between R and X. NC-17 it what we have but it hasn't worked out well for two reasons:

1. Showgirls was a piece of shit.

2. For years studios have been loathe to release NC-17 films because newspapers and television shows won't advertise them.

But, that doesn't have to happen here. Let's be honest - if done right this film will have to be NC-17. There are two scenes that have to be over the top horrifying and graphic for the thing to work.

Now, I know what you are thinking "But, they'll cut it because they need television and print advertising."

You are wrong. In this case the book is so ginormously popular that it will advertise itself. First off, print advertising is dead anyway. And, it won't need television advertising at all.

News shows and E! and the like will be talking about it constantly before it is released. They'll interview the stars, they'll go on the set, they'll talk about it all the fucking time because it's popular and will boost ratings. You really don't think Good Morning America won't interview Daniel Craig about it?

So, you get all of the advantages of television advertising without the expense of it. Being NC-17 in that sense is a benefit.

Beyond that the fans of the book are just as rabid as Star Wars and Star Trek fanboys. They will talk about it online well before it comes out.

And... you can advertise the thing all over the fucking Internet, NC-17 or not.

Bottom line, there is no reason for it not to be NC-17 and if it is NC-17 and makes money for the studio (which unless it gets worse word of mouth than Phantom Menace it will) then suddenly you have legitimized the NC-17 rating.

That means more studios will be willing to release NC-17 films, which means more films for a truly adult audience and less random editing to placate the MPAA.

Of course, none of that will come true if it sucks as much as Showgirls.

Which, is why I'm very, very glad Fincher is directing.